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"When it comes to deciding what to wear, trends are one thing", says the Sunday Times Style's Claudia Croft, "but lifestyle is the most powerful motivator of all".
In last week's issue, the magazine's Head of Fashion posed the question: which came first, the clothes or the lifestyle? But I think it's more complicated than that...
As women in society today, we wear many different hats (excuse the pun), and our wardrobes often reflect the varied roles we play, as well as the lifestyles that we lead. Also, with the emphasis now firmly on making a look 'our own', styling a so called 'trend' into a look that works for us, rather than simply copying straight from the catwalk, is commonplace.
Claudia goes on to cite Isabel Marant ("practical clothes that work without the frump factor") and Saint Laurent ("eternal rock chic") as among the most successful brands in understanding the lifestyle lure. But I'm neither a "school-run mum" nor channeling "Mick Jagger's girlfriend circa 1966" and my wardrobe contains select pieces from both these designers. Why? Because firstly, as individual items they appeal to my personality, and secondly, styled the right way they also work for my lifestyle.
I agree with her when she says that "As fashion consumers, we are all looking for the same thing: clothes that speak to the way we live and make us look better while we're doing it." But on the question of clothes vs lifestyle, I think I'm in the clothes first camp. What about you?